Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If she'll stray for a furtive lay there's a good chance she's cray cray

The percentages of non-Hispanic white men and women, by level of marital fidelity, who report having experienced poor mental health--defined as "stress, depression, and problems with emotions"--in the month prior to being surveyed. All responses are from 2002 onward (N = 4,677):


The gap, at 6.7 points, between men who cheat and those who don't is half that of the gap, at 13.2 points, between women who cheat and those who don't. In percentage terms, cheating wives, relative to faithful wives, are a little over 50% more likely to experience poor mental health than cheating husbands, relative to faithful husbands, are.

As Heartiste could explain much better than I, this result is predictable. Cheating is defined here as "having sex with someone other than your husband or wife while married". If the 'cheating' were purely platonic, the dynamics would be different.

Women find it difficult and distressing to bang a man on the side with whom they have a shallow or no emotional relationship with, while maintaining an emotional bond and living partnership with their husbands. It's easier for men to have a side mistress. Instead of being wrecked by such an arrangement, many men have to actively resist the urge to set one up.

A woman has trouble loving multiple men simultaneously, but is able to love a man other women also love. A man is able to love multiple women simultaneously, but has trouble loving a woman other men also love. Polygyny historically has been (and still is) more common than polyandry partly because of this reality.

For what it's worth, my recommendation is to dance with the one who brought you, especially if she is the one who has brought you children.

GSS variables used: MNTLHLTH, SEX, EVSTRAY(1-2), RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1)

4 comments:

Bruce said...

"Polygyny historically has been (and still is) more common than polyandry partly because of this reality."

I think this is an understatement. More like "vastly more common"

dc.sunsets said...

Honor.
Live honorably.
Honor your self-chosen commitments.
Respect yourself.
Build relationships based on mutual respect.
Avoid people who are incapable of mutual respect.

Polygyny was historically common in part because so many men died in warfare. The opposite of this was that long-lived men often had several wives, having lost the priors in the Russian Roulette of childbirth.

Happiness Path is best traveled with a foxhole buddy. If you have that kind of relationship with your spouse, cultivate it. The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence, it's greener where you water and maintain it.

Loneliness contributes as much to premature death as does obesity (and both are worse than smoking cigarettes.) IMO, casual sex breaks the link between physical and emotional intimacy, and habituating to it yields a lifetime of shallow relationships and a low threshold for divorce. Marrying someone who has habituated to physical intimacy without deep emotional connection is like embracing a live grenade.

This said, not all people are capable of deep emotional intimacy. But then again, most people are throwbacks. It's pitiable that our no-rules, anything goes culture encourages people from 13 years old forward to make irrevocable decisions that often accumulate to render a happy life impossible.

Audacious Epigone said...

Bruce,

I think you're correct.

dc.sunsets,

The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence, it's greener where you water and maintain it

It's past time someone put together a list of your best aphorisms. This one is pure gold.

Jim Bowery said...

M/F body size ratio strongly correlates with harem size in primates. It would be interesting to measure human body size ratios of exhumed burials, controlling for geography and time of burial.